Sunday, June 10, 2007

Pannier tanked

Originally uploaded by Phil_Parker.
Sometimes you just have to admit defeat. While on initial inspection the Pannier locomotive looked promising, I spend a lot of time fiddling and tweaking to get things right. Eventually I spotted the fundamental problem.

When you build an etched model locomotive it’s important to keep checking that everything is nice and square. The builder of this loco didn’t do this and so the cab front and pannier tank back weren’t at right angles to the sides. Of course I should have spotted this earlier – something I will do next time, if there is a next time.

The wonky bits didn’t cancel each other out as they sometimes do. In fact they compounded the problem. You can’t hide the cab/tank join with filler on this prototype, it has to be right. Up to now I had shoved things around to get the front of the tanks in the right place but this twists the footplate so it wouldn’t sit properly on the chassis.

The only way to solve this problem is to remove the offending parts and put them back in properly. That’s a long job with a model this far advanced. It risks damaging the details that has been applied too.

It didn’t help that the owner wanted the model back this weekend – after only being with me for four weeks. I let him know that as it wasn’t as quick a job as I had been lead to believe he wasn’t going to see the model until December. This wasn’t acceptable so I’ve handed it back so he can find someone else to sort the problem. If I were a professional with nothing else to do I’d have done the job to the deadline – probably, although most pro builders have a waiting list of over a year if they are any good.

So that is the end of this project. A bit unsatisfactory (for me) but I am sure I can find something else to do. The stack of railway kits is calling…

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